Band in a Box 2017

Unbelievable! More than 2,200 RealTracks in the UltraPlusPAK, EverythingPAK and Audiophile Edition! That's over 2,600 hours of studio musicians' recordings that you can use in your song!

Along with Band-in-a-Box® 2017, we've released 202 new RealTracks with great new Pop, Rock, Jazz, Blues, Funk, Country, and World styles.. These include:

  • 63 Country, Folk and World RealTracks: These are an amazing collection, with many "firsts," including Latin American styles (14 RealTracks) (from Mexico and Peru), Celtic Harp (4), and Hawaiian Pedal Steel (3) and Ukulele (2). Songwriter's Guitar and Cello toolkit (13), Modern Pedal Steel (4). Fifteen new Nylon and Acoustic Guitar Country RealTracks from the great Brent Mason (15). New Old Time and Celtic RealTracks (4) from Quinn Bachand. And introducing Shannon Forrest - we have Great Country Drums sets from Shannon Forrest (5) (Nashville's "hit-maker"). Shannon has played on more Top 10 hits than any drummer in Nashville for seven years running and won CMA Drummer of the Year!
  • 61 Jazz, Funk and Blues RealTracks: Building on the "big hit" Crooner Swing BigBand released in 2016, we have new Crooner Bossa Big Band (9 piece horns) and Crooner Ballad Big Band (9 piece) from Jim Clark. All 9 horns (trumpets/saxes) play together, or you can mix/match the individual horns on their own. Sixteen Great Blues RealTracks styles added by Brent Mason (multi winner of CMA guitarist of the year) and Mike Rojas (piano – CMA pianist of the year). Gypsy Accordion styles (2) by multiple World Champion Cory Pesaturo. Smooth Soul RealTracks (12) from Brent Mason and Mike Rojas.
  • 78 Rock and Pop RealTracks: Hard Rock – Power Trios - Guitar/Bass and Drums Shuffle and Even Rock with multiple feels (25 RealTracks). Modern House, HipHop and Rap RealTracks (24). Zane Carney is back with Modern Pop RealTracks (6 - Waltzes and 8th notes). Zane is perhaps best known as John Mayer's guitarist, but also well-established in his own right. Shannon Forrest (CMA Drummer of the Year) with the most common Drum Pop/Rock grooves of RealTracks (11). Retro 60's grooves for Surf, Motown and Classic Rock (6). Percussion single instruments (Tambourine, Congas, etc.) to add to other drum parts (6)... and more!

Band-in-a-Box® 2017 Features and Additions

Band-in-a-Box® 2017 is here, with over 80 new features, 202 new RealTracks, plus 24 Bonus RealTracks, 34 new MIDI SuperTracks, 18 Instrumental Studies, 59 Re-Discovered RealTracks/MIDI SuperTracks and more!

GUI for main screen has been redesigned. The previous version of Band-in-a-Box® (2016) had a large toolbar that was not configurable. We have redesigned the main screen with many requested improvements, including a new, smaller footprint, configurable toolbars, a tabbed interface, the progress bar, and more. The toolbar area is now 1/3 of the previous vertical height. All of the same buttons are available through the tabbed interface. Select a toolbar on the tabs and then the button you want to use. Re-order the buttons by drag and drop. Customize your own toolbar by adding any buttons in any order. Use the floating, movable, resizable mixer. There are three modes for the toolbar:

  • 1. New, smaller, configurable toolbar with tabbed interface.
  • 2. Old, taller toolbar, with fixed on-screen mixer (useful for people with hi-res screens).
  • 3. DAW mode. This makes a small screen, always on top, useful for drag and drop of files to your favorite DAW.

 

Some additional features of the new GUI:

  • The Progress Bar has been added. This bar displays a timeline for the current song. Choruses are marked with outlines. Part markers are marked with smaller blue (“a” substyle) or green (“b” substyle) vertical lines. Double click on the bar to start playback from that point.
  • The Drop Station now has an additional drop target, labeled + button to allow a configurable rendering. When you drop to the +, you are presented with a dialog, where you can choose a file format (WAV/WMA/M4A/MID), and other render options (acidize, normalize, and separate tracks).
  • The title area of the main screen has new display for feel (e.g. Ev16) and time signature (4/4).
  • In the small toolbar mode, the Custom tab lets you select and add buttons in the order that you want.
  • The [Freeze] and [Simple] buttons have been added to replace the single [Freeze/Simple] button.
  • The menu for the individual tracks, accessed from the track radio buttons or the Mixer, has been reorganized into groups allowing easier selection of track types: audio (RealTracks, UserTracks, Loops) or MIDI (MIDI SuperTracks, classic MIDI tracks) and track settings/actions.

sforzando SFZ Synth. We’ve added a new VST Synthesizer, with support for popular .SFZ sound format, as well as PG Music’s Hi-Q sounds. Many sounds that have been developed with the .SFZ format are available on the internet, and are ready to play with Band-in-a-Box® using this synth. Your existing Band-in-a-Box® Hi-Q sounds will play using this synthesizer, so previous songs or styles you made will play with this new synth. This synth is installed with Band-in-a-Box, and is ready to play and does not require configuration.

Chord Builder has been enhanced with "Chord Theory" section. The Chord Theory section displays and suggests chords that are most popular in the current key. The top row is diatonic chords. Other rows add additional chords that are part of the key, such as Dominant 7th approach, Slash Chords, Parallel Minor, Diminished and more. This allows you to quickly enter chords by clicking on the most common chords in the key. For example, if you stick to the top row (diatonic), the chord progression will be a typical song progression. Choosing from additional row will add variation and color to the progression. This is a fun, interactive way to enter and explore chord progressions, and learn music chord theory at the same time.
For example, if you are in the key of F, you can open the chord builder, then press the [Show More] button to see the Chord Theory section. You can enable the "Jazz" checkbox to show jazz chords (e.g. sevenths like Maj7) instead of pop chords (e.g. triads like C). The top row has the most common chords in the key of F, which are the diatonic chords. So you can just click on chords on this row to enter your chord progression using the most popular chords. Lower rows have additional chords in the key of F, like G7, A7 etc.

  • F Gm Am Bb C Dm Em7b5 (in pop mode)
  • FMaj7 Gm7 Am7 BbMaj7 C7 Dm7 Em7b5 (in jazz mode)

 

There are many RealDrums enhancements including selectable timebase (Half/Double/Triple-time), Multiple Drum/Percussion/Loops tracks, and more.

  • [Multi-Drums] This allows you to put multiple drum/percussion parts, drum loops, UserTracks drums, and even RealTracks on the same Drums track, with volume mixer adjusting levels. For example, you can add single drums instruments (e.g. Tambourine and Shaker), a bass drum loop, and UserTracks drums to BossaBrushes Drums track. Multi-Drums can be stored with the song, style, or listed separately in the RealDrums Picker (e.g. Danny and Alex Jazz Swing with congas [Multi]).
  • [Single Drums] These are RealDrums that just have a single percussion instrument like tambourine, shaker, or bongos. You can easily add the single drums to Multi-Drums in the Create Multi-Drums dialog.

Drums can have selectable timebase: Double-time (Cut-time), Half-time, or Triple-time. For example, if you have:

  • an even 16ths Folk drums track at tempo 90, then you can choose Half-Time, and it will play even 8 feel with a style at tempo 180.
  • an even 8 feel style at tempo 180, then you can choose Double-Time, and it will play at tempo 90 (Cut-Time) even 16ths feel.
  • a fast waltz style at tempo 150, then you can choose Triple-Time, and it will play with a slow 4/4 style at tempo 50, which gives a triplet 12/8 feel.

Timebase (normal/half/double/triple) can be stored with:

  • song
  • style
  • or RealDrums - If the RealDrums is named with the timebase appended, it will function in that time base. For example, "BossaBrushes" is a normal Ev 8 timebase, but "BossaBrushes [Double-Time]" would play this in a Cut-Time ev 16 feel.

RealDrums can now be added to any track, not just the Drums track, so you can have more than one drums track. When there are multiple Drums tracks in a song, they will be automatically called Drums 1, Drums 2 etc. See Danny and Alex Demo song.sgu.

RealDrums Shots/Pushes/Rests work with style changes and frozen Drums track. Previously, this was not supported.

The RealDrums Picker window now opens up much faster despite having more entries. Previously, it took up to 5 seconds for the window to open on slower machines, but now, it opens up in less than a second.

Tempo pitch shifting and tempo stretching has been greatly enhanced with the integration of the newest version of the world-leading Elastique (version 3, previous version was version 2). This allows higher quality and sound retains timbre with extreme tempo changes or transpositions. There is nothing needed to configure this, as it just works.

12-Key "Woodshedding" RealTracks. Many people use the RealTracks feature in Band-in-a-Box® to learn how to "play like the pros." This is because you can see notation, tab, on-screen guitar, and more as you hear the music. Now we've taken this to a higher level, by providing some "12-Key" RealTracks that have been recorded in all 12 keys! In previous versions, you might decide to learn to play by studying the parts played by the RealTracks artists, and watch the notation to do so. Many people have found this a great way to learn, but it had the following issues.

  • Since RealTracks were based on only 5 keys, they were transposed much of the time, which would make the guitar part unplayable for a student in some cases.
  • The tab/notation was good for guitar, but lacked some precision and graphical representation of bends, pull-offs, hammer-ons, and pull-offs.

We have solved that by creating some Guitar RealTracks with recording in all 12 keys. So you can see what a pro would play over an Ab chord, and you won't see them play on a G transposed up to an Ab, and carefully transcribed notation, with correct bend/hammer-ons, pull-offs, and slides... So now you (we!) students have no more excuses! You can watch and learn from the pros!
We have made some of these for country guitar (Brent Mason), piano (Mike Rojas), and pedal steel (Eddy Dunlap). For guitar, this means that they are typically generated with no transpositions on any chord so that you can learn by copying exactly what you see on the fretboard. In combination with another new feature we have (Hi-Q RealCharts and guitar display), this gives you great notation and guitar display.

Hi-Q Guitar RealCharts are available with highly accurate and readable notation, including new graphical markings for bends, slides, hammer-ons, and pull-offs. We have some amazing new RealTracks from Brent Mason, in 12-keys with Hi-Q notation showing exactly what is being played! To see these in action, load in one of the 12-key Hi-Q notation RealTracks by Brent Mason. You can also enter your own guitar notation using these features. Just right click on a note to set its properties to include bends, slides, hammer-ons, and pull-offs.

Song Titles Browser Window has been added. The popular Song Title feature, which allows you to type in the name of a familiar song and find a style with similar feel and tempo, has been enhanced with a dedicated Song Titles Browser window. This window allows you to browse and filter the huge list of over 8,000 popular song titles. You can, for example, filter by a certain artist, then sort all the songs by tempo, key, feel, time signature, and more. Once you have found a song, pressing a button will take you to the StylePicker with the styles that best match the tempo, feel, and genre of the selected song title. For example, you can find all popular songs that are waltz in the Key of Eb, with a tempo slower than 100. This might be useful for making a medley or seeing a list of song titles that share the same key, tempo, and feel. We’ve also added over 500 new songs to the database, filling in some missing genres and new songs from 2016 as well as some classics!

VST sync has been enhanced. In late 2016, we added much requested support for VSTs that require tempo information to sync to. This has been enhanced with support for time signature and tempo changes. Many VSTs like Addictive Drums, or Rapid Composer need this tempo information to sync to Band-in-a-Box®.

RealTracks have been enhanced!

  • RealTracks options (simple, helds, medley, and timebase) have been added to the "best" dialog.
  • RealTracks and RealDrums folder locations are now remembered (by a checkbox) even after you reset to factory settings or erase the intrface.bbw configuration file. Previously, you would need to configure these again. Technical note: These are also remembered if you delete c:\bb\intrface.bbw. They are set to the locations found in C:\Users\Public\Ticket\ Band-in-a-Box® Folder Locations.txt.
  • The RealTracks Picker window now opens up much faster displaying all 2,500+ RealTracks. Previously, it took up to 5 seconds for the window to open on slower machines, but now, it opens up in less than a second.
  • The Tempo Swap feature for RealTracks has been enhanced, and it happens more intelligently now. Since the tempo stretching has been improved, we have also widened the tempo range before a tempo swap to a new RealTracks would occur.
  • In addition, new features discussed elsewhere have improved the sound of RealTracks:
  • Improved sound when stretching tempos or transposing using Elastique 3.
  • Natural Arrangement option.
  • 202 new RealTracks with version 2017!

The media player control now has a volume control in various dialogs like RealTracks, RealDrums, Loops, and UserTracks Picker. So if the demos are too loud/soft relative to your other music, you can independently control this.

UserTracks have been enhanced:

  • UserTracks now support 3/4 waltz time signature. Just make a UserTracks as normal, and save the Band-in-a-Box® song with your UserTracks in 3/4 (i.e. save using a waltz style).
  • Rests now work with UserTracks. Shots and Holds now also rest instead of continuing to play. There are no changes to the UserTracks needed. Just add period(s) to chords and the existing UserTracks will follow them. (Note: There is no specific support for shots or holds by UserTracks, they will just rest when these are encountered.)
  • Timebase (Normal, Half-time, Double-time, or Triple-time) can be selected for any UserTracks from the UserTracks dialog or the Tracks right click menu.
  • UserTracks can be made and preset to a timebase by the user.
  • Option for no-transpose is now supported for UserTracks on any track.
  • Option for ignoring slash notes like the "B" on a G/B chord (just play a "G" chord) is now supported for any UserTrack.
  • Styles with UserTracks are now displayed in the StylePicker with the name of the UserTracks.

Notation has been enhanced:

  • The Guitar Notation display has been enhanced. You can now enter and display bends, slides, hammer-ons, and pull-offs with notation graphics indicating these elements. You can create all these in the note edit dialog, and import/export from/to XML files.
  • A rapid notation entry mode has been added for piano and guitar music. To do this, open up the Piano or Guitar window, use the new features to have right/left cursor keys to set the current notation position, and then click on the piano or guitar to enter notes. This is much faster than previous methods in many cases.
  • The notation timeline is much more visible while editing, as it is a yellow wide transparent vertical line on the notation.
  • Entry of Forced Accidentals is quicker now, without a pull down list required.
  • Band-in-a-Box® now remembers previous width & height when saving notation as image.
  • Band-in-a-Box® notation now has a checkbox to keep ratio the same when changing Width or Height in Save image dialog.
  • RealScore Chords font is now selectable on the Notation window fonts menu.
  • Music XML (notation export/import) has been enhanced. We've worked with Finale, GuitarPro, and Sibelius to enhance features and compatibility with Music XML. For example, we now read/write more chord types as well as guitar tab, bends, hammer-ons, pull-offs, and slides from/to XML.

The Chord Sheet and Layers have been enhanced.

  • Right clicking in a layer now has a menu with options to change height of the layer, close layer(s), copy/cut/paste, etc.
  • The "Concert Key" option has been added to display an additional chord display of the same chords transposed to a different key. So you can, for example, see two layers, one with concert chords, and the other for Bb instruments.
  • Normal chord display can be shown on the additional chord display layer.
  • "Insert Bars" and "Delete Bars" have been added to the right click menu.
  • A BeStPlain chord symbols font has been added that is very clear and readable, and has selectable options to use triangle for major, minus sign for minor, and half or full circle for half or full diminished chords. This font was designed by Band-in-a-Box® user Bernhard Steuber. Thanks Bernhard!
  • Tab and Shift+Tab keys advance on the Chord Sheet, like R/L cursor keys.
  • The Repeats dialog has been enhanced.
  • Chords Preview works with Shift+Enter keys.
  • The Chord Sheet scheme button has been replaced by two buttons for easier loading/saving schemes.

Natural Arrangements option has been added. If you give a pro musician, a complicated chord progression, with fancy extensions like C7b9b13 or Gm11, the musician may reinterpret these rather than playing them exactly as written. This can achieve a much better sounding arrangement because the musician has freedom to choose from similar chord extensions. Now you can get Band-in-a-Box® to do the same thing; you can set this on a global basis (all songs, all tracks), song basis (current song, all tracks), or individual tracks (current song, specific track(s)). For example, you can make a single global setting and all arrangements will allow this.

Looping has been enhanced with an "L" command for quickly setting a loop. For example:

  • L [Enter] will loop at the current point for 4 bars. (The "4" is a selectable value).
  • L8 [Enter] will loop for 8 bars.
  • L8,12 [Enter] will loop for 8 bars starting at bar 12.
  • L8,12,2 [Enter] will loop for 8 bars starting at bar 12, chorus 2.

Loops Practicing features has been added. People use looping to practice and learn as they listen to RealTracks artists playing. Now you can set the loop to mute every Nth time, so you can play it without hearing it on the Nth time. You can also set the loop to auto-advance every Nth time, so you can move through the piece. For example, you could set the loop to 4 bars, and mute every 2nd time, and advance by 4 bars after 4 loops. This aids in practice and learning.

StylePicker has been enhanced.

  • You can quickly launch the StylePicker window by S+Enter shortcut keys.
  • The Action button to perform new functions has been added.
  • User Categories have been added.
  • Unlimited User Categories can be created by users or third parties, to list their styles in the StylePicker by choosing their category.
  • You can make your own User Category. Simply right click on the StylePicker, choose a name for your category, and then right click to add/remove styles to/from it.
  • User Categories are analogous to playlists in a song player. You can create/edit them and choose to display only the styles from the category or all styles with the category styles highlighted with a * asterisk.
  • Prototype style support has been added. Select a style as a prototype, and the StylePicker will sort and filter by best to worst match of the prototype’s tempo, feel, genre, time signature, and more.
  • You can add a custom memo to a style by right clicking on the style name.
  • Sorted display now says low to high or high to low.
  • The Fav button has been replaced by the Action button.
  • An instrument summary shows in the memo area.
  • Styles with Loops or UserTracks are now displayed in the StylePicker with the name of the Loops or UserTracks.
  • Loops have been enhanced:

    • Rests now work with Loops.
    • Loops can be set to a timebase (normal, half-time, double-time, or triple-time).
    • Loops can be combined with drums on the Drums track (Multi-Drums).

    Tap tempo has been enhanced. Now, when you tap more than 4 times, the accuracy will improve (through averaging) and you can continue to tap until the target tempo has been reached.

    Mixer has been enhanced with double click option to set the mixer values to defaults.

    The Video Window has been enhanced with better playback of mp4 files.

    New track names are now listed instead of the old track names in some places.

    An alert confirmation shows before transposing the Audio track when the user has transposed the song. So you can choose to transpose the Audio track or not, and it is now clear when it is happening.

    "MME Output always on" option has been added. This allows you to use VST or Canyon GM DXi at all times, so MIDI can be routed and heard using these Plugins when the program is stopped.

    ...and more!